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This creamy coconut chicken curry is easy, healthy, and perfect for weeknights. It's tender chicken simmered in a flavorful sauce made with a bold amount of garlic, coconut milk, tomatoes, and baby spinach. It's full of intense curry flavor, and it's ready in just 30 minutes!
This coconut chicken curry is a quick and easy weeknight win! It's perfect for those evenings when we want something healthy and hearty that doesn't compromise on flavor. It rivals take-out Indian food but it's much lighter, and possibly quicker, too!
This recipe is based on the wildly popular creamy coconut lentil curry. Same flavors, different protein. It's a pretty basic recipe, meaning you can swap the veggies for what you have in the fridge. We don't use curry powder or curry paste, just individual spices. This makes it easy to add more or less of a spice, especially when it comes to heat.
It all gets made in one pot so clean-up is a breeze. Serve it with some fluffy basmati rice, or naan to mop up all the delicious sauce. Serving a crowd? Make a couple of curries and serve them family style, and enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day!
Why you'll love this coconut chicken curry recipe
- It's an easy recipe and takes only 30 minutes to make
- It's creamy, delicious, and full of flavor
- It's made in one-pot so clean up is a breeze
- It's healthier than takeout
Coconut chicken curry ingredients
You'll find most of the ingredients for this Indian-inspired chicken curry recipe in your kitchen. Here's what you'll need:
- Coconut oil – for sautéing the aromatics. Other neutral oils like avocado or olive work as well.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger – we're not kidding when we say a whole head of garlic (yes, that's 10-12 garlic cloves!) This classic mix of aromatics gives this curry lots of intense flavor.
- Spices – we don't use curry powder or paste for this recipe. Instead, we use a mix of cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne (optional for heat).
- Chicken breasts – you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Crushed tomatoes – we use regular crushed tomatoes but fire-roasted tomatoes also taste great and add a smoky dimension to this dish.
- Sea salt – for enhancing all the delicious flavors.
- Coconut milk – we recommend using full-fat coconut milk (not light) to give this curry lots of creaminess.
- Baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro – for texture, taste, and added nutrients.
How to cook chicken curry with coconut milk
Make this coconut curry chicken once and you'll be hooked. It's an easy, delicious, and healthy one-pot meal that does not disappoint! Here's how to make it in a few simple steps:
- To start, sauté the onions in coconut oil until they soften. Then add the garlic and ginger, followed by the spices. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Your home will start to smell incredible at this point.
- Next, add the chicken, tomatoes, and sea salt, and give everything a good stir. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Check the chicken to make sure it's cooked through, then stir in the coconut milk, spinach, cherry tomatoes (and all their juices), and cilantro. Season to taste with salt, and serve it over some cooked rice like our favorite coconut rice or stovetop basmati rice. Dinner is served!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
How long does it last in the fridge?
Store any leftover curry in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Can I freeze it?
Definitely! Store it in an airtight container or reusable storage bag (we love these stasher bags) for 2-3 months in your freezer.
I don't see curry powder listed in the ingredients, is this a mistake?
Nope! This recipe uses cumin, coriander, and turmeric which are all spices that are in curry powder. When combined with garlic, onion, and ginger, they create an unmistakable curry flavor.
What kind of chicken should I use?
We use boneless skinless chicken breasts but you can use chicken thighs or cut-up chicken tenders instead.
Can I add more vegetables?
Absolutely! It's really easy to modify this recipe to your personal taste. Add chopped carrots, bell peppers, or cauliflower at the same time as the chicken. Frozen corn, peas, or green beans taste great, too. Add a bit of water if it becomes too thick.
How do I make a less spicy version?
To make a less spicy (aka kid-friendly) version, omit the cayenne and dial down the garlic to 4-6 cloves.
Is this coconut curry chicken healthy?
We think so! It's made with only real whole-food ingredients, and it's also gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and low-carb.
What to serve with coconut chicken curry
If you're serving a crowd, pair it with a few other curries, and a creamy cucumber salad.
Curries that pair well with coconut chicken curry
More delicious chicken curry recipes
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ medium onion (finely minced)
- 1 head garlic (chopped (10–12 cloves))
- 2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
- 1 tablespoon EACH: ground cumin, coriander, and turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
- 3 chicken breasts (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 15 ounce can coconut milk
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and, if using, the cayenne and cook for 1 minute.2 tablespoons coconut oil, ½ medium onion, 1 head garlic, 2 tablespoons ginger, 1 tablespoon EACH: ground cumin, coriander, and turmeric, 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- Add the chicken, crushed tomatoes, and sea salt to the pan and stir well. Bring to a simmer then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, carefully removing the lid (the curry will splatter!) to stir a few times.3 chicken breasts, 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Once the chicken pieces are cooked, stir in the coconut milk, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro. Season to taste with more salt, as needed.15 ounce can coconut milk, A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, 1 cup chopped cilantro, 3 ounces baby spinach
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.